5 THINGS YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT
BEFORE BUYING A JIB CRANE
We're well into the 21st century and manufacturing companies are constantly looking for ways to automate processes, improve ergonomics and increase overall employee satisfaction. There are many cost effective ways to achieve these goals and installing crane systems can be one of the best ways to achieve a positive return on investment. However, before buying a jib crane, there are somethings you'd need to think about.
Here are the considerations:
1. Capacity Requirements
When looking at purchasing a jib crane, it's important to consider the capacity of the materials you're going to be lifting with the jib crane. The higher the capacity, the larger the footing or base plate needs to be. Imagine a diving board. If you have 300 lbs at the end of the diving board, but the base of the diving board can only support 100 lbs, the diving board will topple over. If your base can support 500 lbs, then the diving board will stay in place.
There are two different solutions for handling capacities – there's adding a footing which requires cutting into concrete. Adding a footing is typically for higher capacities. For lower capacities, companies have the option to add a base plate. Base plates are typically 6 foot square pieces of steel that evenly distribute the weight of the jib crane, creating a counterweight and holding the crane system in place. Jib crane capacities can range from 100 pounds up to 30,000 pounds depending on the span and jib series. A crane specialist should be able to help determine whether or not a crane requires footing over base plates and vice versa depending on the application of the jib crane.
2. Overall Height
It's important to consider how the jib crane will be used and what types of material is being lifted. You will need to make sure the jib crane system can accommodate the height of the application. When considering overall height, you will also need to factor in your hoist size and any below hook lifting devices being used.
3. Overall Reach
Similar to the overall height, you must also consider how the crane will be used and the types of materials being lifted for determining the overall reach. Be sure to look for obstructions such as conduits, building columns, etc when reviewing the placement of the jib crane. If limited amount of space is available for reach, portable jib cranes could be used to acquire the desired amount of reach, with up to a certain capacity.
4. Rotation Requirements
How much rotation will the jib crane need to get the job done? 180 degrees? 360 degrees? The degree of rotation will heavily depend on the obstructions in the workspace such as conduits, workstations, building columns, pallet racking, etc. that would limit rotation. In many applications, the jib crane would need minimal rotation – such as lifting materials from one workbench to another.
5. Environmental Considerations
The environment of the jib crane is
very important when considering which type of system to get. Different
environmental considerations include interior vs. exterior, corrosive vs.
non-corrosive. Certain times of jib crane systems work better in some
environments more so than others. For example, Foundationless Jib Cranes are
specifically used for indoor applications, whereas Freestanding Jib Cranes can
be weatherized for outdoor use. If the environment is corrosive, you may want
to consider galvanizing the crane system to protect it from erosion. There are
lots of different possibilities for adapting crane systems to fit a particular
Many thanks to Amanda Clark from Barron Equipment for providing the information for this article.
Barron Equipment - www.barroneq.com